Many believe that life expectancy is largely determined by genetics. But apart from that healthy lifestyle, food habits and environmental factors also play an important role. Lucia DeClerck, a 105-year-old woman, has won the battle against COVID-19. But according to her, there is one secret habit that helped her to beat the deadly novel Coronavirus at this age.
When DeClerck was asked what is the reason behind her long life, she said "Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. [and] One step at a time. No junk food." But in terms of surviving the COVID-19, she gave credit to nine gin-soaked golden raisins which the elderly woman has been eating every morning for most of her life.
This is DeClerck's one of the habits which she has been following for several years. Her children and grandchildren said that she also drinks aloe juice straight from the container and brushes her teeth with baking soda— as a result DeClerck never developed a cavity until she was 99.
Her granddaughter, Shawn Laws O'Neil, 53, from Los Angeles, said: "We would just think, 'Grandma, what are you doing? You're crazy.' Now the laugh is on us. She has beaten everything that's come her way."
DeClerck and Her Healthy Lifestyle
DeClerck was born in 1916 in Hawaii. Her parents came from Guatemala and Spain. She survived during the Spanish flu and both the world wars. The woman also lived through the deaths of her three husbands and a son.
She also lived in Wyoming and California. Later, she finally decided to settle down in New Jersey, where she lived with her oldest son. However, when DeClerck turned 90, she moved to an adult community in Manahawkin. She is now the oldest resident of the South Jersey nursing home.
According to Michael Neiman, the home's administrator, DeClerck contracted the novel virus on January 25. She tested positive for COVID-19 on her 105th birthday—after she received the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVDI-19 vaccine. This incident is not shocking, as healthcare experts have explained earlier that immunity generation against the disease takes time even after the second shot of the vaccine.
Neiman said that she developed a few COVID-19 symptoms. But after being in the isolation for almost two weeks, DeClerck was back in her room.
Her granddaughter O'Neil said that to her sons, five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren, she has a new moniker—the 105-year-old badass who kicked COVID-19.
An Encouraging Story
As reported by The New York Times, the New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy talked to DeClerck. He described the conversation during a press briefing and said, "What an uplifting conversation."
Her 78-year-old son Phillip Laws said that after learning that she got the infection the family was very concerned. "But she's got an unbelievable tenacity. And she's got that rosary — all the time," he added.
She is one of 62 Mystic Meadows residents who contracted the virus. Neiman said that four patients lost the battle against the virus, including three who were receiving hospice care. "We're as careful as possible, but this finds a way of sneaking in," he added.
As she received that vaccine dose, Neiman said that this would most likely contribute to her faster recovery.